Nassau County’s highest-achieving students of the Class of 2016 gathered at Crest Hollow Country Club with their parents, superintendents and principals in a beautiful ceremony designed to celebrate their remarkable accolades prior to graduation.

The annual tradition, a Celebrating Excellence Breakfast hosted by the Nassau County Council of School Superintendents, served to honor valedictorians and salutatorians throughout Nassau County. The event was emceed by Class of 2016 Celebrating Excellence Breakfast Committee Chairperson and Levittown Union Free School District Superintendent Dr. Tonie McDonald, and also featured an inspiring speech by internationally renowned author Thomas Maier. Mr. Maier used historical contexts and cited personal experiences as an investigative journalist to stress to students the importance of being able to adapt in an ever-changing world, keeping an open mind and striving to continue their stellar work in college and beyond.

The valedictorians and salutatorians from each high school were presented with plaques while the colleges they plan to attend and their intended majors were announced during their ceremonial walk up to the stage. The program also featured music in Crest Hollow’s lobby by the Division Avenue High School chamber orchestra with the national anthem performed by the General Douglas MacArthur High School chamber singers — both from the Levittown Union Free School District. Opening remarks were by NCCSS President and Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District Superintendent Dr. Lorna Lewis, and closing remarks by NCCSS President-elect and Bellmore Union Free School District Superintendent Dr. Joseph S. Famularo.

The special and unique event gave parents and administrators the opportunity to applaud the incredible achievements of the brightest seniors throughout Nassau County.